A Village Drill, designed and engineered by BYU students, in an African village. | Courtesy WHOlives

Meadow Elementary fundraiser story inspires Lehi Free Press reader donation

In January 2019, the Lehi Free Press published a story about a week-long fundraiser at Meadow Elementary for the non-profit organization WHOlives. WHOlives installs clean water drills in the most impoverished areas of the world. The organization uses a human-powered drill designed and built by Brigham Young University mechanical engineering students, to rural villages in Kenya and Uganda.

On the WHOlives website, their mission statement includes this statement, “We are determined to eradicate scarce and contaminated water sources in the world. No one should ever have to drink polluted water, knowing that it will lead to disease and eventual death.”

After the publication of Nicole Kunze’s story about the WHOlives assembly and fundraiser at Meadow Elementary, the non-profit received a donation of $10,000. Sonja Jorgenson, Executive Director of WHOlives tracked down the couple who donated to thank them and discovered that they learned of the organization and were inspired to act because of the story in the Lehi Free Press. The couple wishes to remain anonymous.

“That $10,000 has the potential to give lifesaving water to 2,000 children! It only takes $5 to give a child water for life, allowing them survival and the opportunity to attend school,” explained Jorgenson.

WHOlives is currently working with a videographer living in Jinja, Uganda. Half the population of Uganda is under the age of 15. It is a country of children because they usually don’t live to adulthood. It explains the statistic that 6,000 children die every day in Africa due to scarce and contaminated water.

“The next time you wonder if you are making a difference, I hope you will remember what your article did to help the children and families in Africa who desperately need clean water,” Jorgenson wrote in a letter to the Lehi Free Press.

To find out more about WHOlives and their Village Drill program, go to https://wholives.org.

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